Gnarr: How I Became the Mayor of a Large City in Iceland and Changed the World

Gnarr How I Became the Mayor of a Large City in Iceland and Changed the World It all started when J n Gnarr founded the Best Party in to satirize his country s political system The financial collapse in Iceland had after all precipitated the world wide meltdown and fome

  • Title: Gnarr: How I Became the Mayor of a Large City in Iceland and Changed the World
  • Author: Jón Gnarr
  • ISBN: 9781612194134
  • Page: 145
  • Format: Hardcover
  • It all started when J n Gnarr founded the Best Party in 2009 to satirize his country s political system The financial collapse in Iceland had, after all, precipitated the world wide meltdown, and fomented widespread protest over the country s leadership.Entering the race for mayor of Reykjav k, Iceland s capital, Gnarr promised to get the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park intoIt all started when J n Gnarr founded the Best Party in 2009 to satirize his country s political system The financial collapse in Iceland had, after all, precipitated the world wide meltdown, and fomented widespread protest over the country s leadership.Entering the race for mayor of Reykjav k, Iceland s capital, Gnarr promised to get the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park into downtown parks, free towels at public swimming pools, a drug free Parliament by 2020 and he swore he d break all his campaign promises.But then something strange started happening his campaign began to succeed And in the party s electoral debut, the Best Party emerged as the biggest winner Gnarr promptly proposed a coalition government, although he ruled out partners who had not seen all five seasons of The Wire.And just like that, a man whose previous foreign relations experience consisted of a radio show in which he regularly crank called the White House and police stations in the Bronx to see if they had found his lost wallet was soon meeting international leaders and being taken seriously as the mayor of a European capital.Here, Gnarr recounts how it all happened and, with admirable candor, describes his vision of a enlightened politics for the future The point, he writes, is not to be afraid to get involved or to take on the system.

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    About “Jón Gnarr

    • Jón Gnarr

      J n Gnarr Kristinsson is an Icelandic actor, comedian, and politician who became the Mayor of Iceland s capital city Reykjav k on 15 June 2010, and stepped down on 16 June 2014 Born J n Gunnar Kristinsson, J n legally changed his middle name in 2005 to the way his mother pronounced it when he was a boy He is married to J hanna J hannsd ttir with whom he has five children His daughter, Margret, is a fitness model and IFBB competitor.J n Gnarr suffered from dyslexia and had learning difficulties as a child J n Gnarr recounts these experiences in his book The Indian, an autobiographical account of his childhood J n Gnarr has been diagnosed with ADHD and has actively discussed his life with ADHD publicly.J n was known as J nsi Punk as a teenager and played bass in a punk band called Nefrennsli Runny Nose He attended a number of high schools,but didn t complete the university entrance exam During the 1980s J n and his future wife, J hanna J hannsd ttir, became acquainted with the members of the band the Sugarcubes, including Bj rk and Einar rn Benediktsson Bj rk remained a close friend to J hanna, while Einar would become an important political ally to J n.In 1994, J n teamed up with Sigurj n Kjartansson to form the radio duo Tv h f i In 1997, he joined TV station St 2 where he wrote and starred in several seasons of the Icelandic comedy show F stbr ur His best known movies are The Icelandic Dream and A Man like Me His stand up comedy show g var einu sinni n rd I Used To Be a Nerd is autobiographical.In late 2009 J n formed the Best Party with a number of others with no background in politics, including Einar The Best Party, a satirical political party that parodies Icelandic politics and aims to make the life of the citizens fun, managed a plurality in the 2010 municipal elections in Reykjav k, with the party gaining six out of 15 seats on the City Council Einar, second on the party s list behind J n, won a seat on the council.J n ended up defeating the Independence Party led municipal government of Hanna Birna Kristj nsd ttir His victory is widely seen as a backlash against establishment politicians in the wake of Iceland s 2008 2011 financial crisis.J n s political platform included promises of free towels in all swimming pools, a polar bear for the Reykjav k zoo, all kinds of things for weaklings, Disneyland in the Vatnsm ri area, etc.Upon being elected, J n announced that he would not enter a coalition government with anyone that had not watched The Wire , eventually entering a coalition with the Social Democratic Alliance Samfylkingin as its junior partner to govern Reykjav k.As mayor, J n has been a source of amusement and shock He also protested the Chinese government s treatment of human rights activist Liu Xiaobo He has stated that the importance of the EU is highly over rated On October 30, 2013, J n Gnarr announced that he would not seek a second term in office when his first term expired in June 2014.Since leaving office, Gnarr has campaigned for Iceland to abandon its laws requiring citizens to have traditional Icelandic names Gnarr also authored a book entitled Gnarr How I Became the Mayor of a Large City in Iceland and Changed the World.



    427 thoughts on “Gnarr: How I Became the Mayor of a Large City in Iceland and Changed the World

    • Jon Gnarr ran for mayor of the largest city in Iceland not because he had experience as a politician, but because he was a comic and was, at first, poking fun at the system. But then, he realized that politics as usual was getting his country no where. So, he took the election seriously. Imagine his surprise when he won."Leo Tolstoy once said, 'Everyone wants to change the world, but no one wants to change himself.' But I feel that I have changed myself. I've done my homework. And next I want to [...]


    • In 2009, Icelandic comedian Jón Gnarr created a fake politician (“an odd mixture of Groucho Marx, Tony Blair, and an American used car salesman”) for a TV sketch show. In the wake of the financial crisis that effectively bankrupted the entire country, however, he decided the character would be in rather poor taste. But rather than shelving him entirely he chose, instead, to make him real — and run for Mayor of Reykjavík through the newly created “Best Party”, to which he recruited a [...]



    • Remember when Iceland went bankrupt and then turned itself around by throwing out the corrupt politicians and jailing the criminal bankers? Jon Gnarr was at the forefront of that bloodless revolution and this book is his story of how that happened. It should be required reading for the 99% of Americans who got screwed by the economic crisis of 2008 and is still trying to recover.Gnarr was a semi-employed comedian/taxi driver when the crisis hit. In writing some reactionary comic sketches he and [...]



    • Este es el libro del humorista, punk, anarquista y político islandés Jón Gnarr Kristinsson a quien desconocía totalmente y del cual he quedado enganchado desde la primera página, su estilo de hacer política y su tan particular personalidad que para muchos puede parecer una verdadera locura y una falta de respeto dentro de esa palabra ya tan devaluada que conocemos como política lo ha llevado a escribir este trabajo donde cuenta sus vivencias en ese mundo tan devaluado y que pareciera que [...]


    • I love him to bits! The world needs many more Jón Gnarrs, that's for sure. I hope the English translation of this little book does him justice; I read it in German and the translator did a good job. So he comes across as very funny (of course he is, he's a comedian!), deeply humane, decent and unpretentious. It would be a pity if the anarchic bits opening an closing the book would put any less comedy-inclined readers off. His ideas and thoughts in the rest of the book, which he combines with a [...]


    • This was a fun, comedic political read. Gnarr is a liberal punk who has grown up and learned how to communicate his beliefs in relatable language. It's a quick read - there are a lot of blank pages in the book. I would recommend it to anyone who is really into peace, turnaround stories, democracy and Iceland. His discussion of democracy is pretty helpful for me in light of the current situation in the U.S.A. - democracy needs more than a leader to work, it needs the participation of all constitu [...]


    • Libro de fácil lectura, donde se pasa muy de puntillas por la política. Son todo ideas muy generales y con ciertas curiosidades del país.A pesar de todo se pueden sacar dos o tres apuntes muy interesantes.



    • I was very disappointed in this book. I mean, what a great story. A comedian runs a joke campaign for mayor and ends up getting elected. I thought it would be funny - it wasn't. I thought I would learn about all the things his administration did for the city - I didn't. It turns out the book was about as well planned as his campaign. I sense he really struggled to fill the scant 133 pages, and barely managed it by throwing in letters he had written and a lengthy, but hardly illuminating, intervi [...]


    • It was a beautiful book. Translation I guess is good because it was done in plain English, & as the author says, his main ability is to entertain and not to write complicated stuff. Overall he gives a good insight of what meant becoming a Major without the corruption of all politicians and without all the ideological brainwash, usual as well in all politicians.I just wish my country would be as small as Iceland, so all politicians and corrupted bankers would go away and all problems would be [...]


    • This is the first-person account of how Jón Gnarr, stand-up comedian, crossdresser, and high-school dropout, started a political party as a joke and ended up mayor of the capital city of Iceland.This is a very dangerous book. It has almost convinced me that participatory democracy can be functional under late-stage capitalism, at least on a small local scale.Who wants to help me start an American Best Party? We can call it the American Best Coalition, or ABCs for short.


    • J. Gnarr is one of my favorite living people from now on and there are not many!He gives us a hope that world could change for better, even political world. I would like to recommend this book to each person, even the ones who aren't interested in Iceland or their little political affairs. It is a story you could get inspired to do brave things even if you were at the bottom of society's hierarchy. Oh, and to learn some peaceful positive attitude!


    • I finished this book in a coupe of hours, slammed it shut and declared, "Awesome." Finally an advocate for fun in politics. Finally, a voice of both reason and unreasonableness at the very same time. I knew a little about Jon Gnarr already, but this book is an insight that I thoroughly enjoyed. He's an inspiration.


    • Despite being quite short, I stopped reading about half way through when it became clear that the book didn't offer much to take away. I enjoyed the occasional glimpses into Icelandic life, but the story of the Best Party was far from interesting. This was either due to Gnarr's erratic retelling of the events or perhaps because there wasn't much to tell in the first place.


    • Útlý text, ve kterém Gnarr představuje svou cestu do vysoké islandské politiky. Představuje se jako anarchista od malička, beznadějný mírumilovný člověk a komik tělem i duší. V knize jsou i oficiální texty Nejlepší strany, za kterou kandidoval, či rozhovor s jeho ženou. Příjemné, místy lehce utopické čtení.


    • This started out an interesting story about growing up in Iceland, being disenfranchised with politics and then accidentally becoming mayor of Reykjavík. But as soon as that happened, it got a bit dull! Needs more jokes.


    • An interesting read but I kind of wanted a little more meat on it. Maybe there isn't that much meat to the Best Party-- which is kind of the point-- but I'd like to know a little bit more about the man and what motivates him. Still a worthwhile read.



    • Interesting enough. I would have preferred a bit more substance of what the Best Party wanted to do and accomplished.


    • A light and pleasant read, Gnarr is unfortunately too light to be really interesting. Much like politics, I'm sure writing this in a more detailed fashion would have been a bit too boring, involving too much rehashing of the banalities of mayoral life. So instead, the book is filled with a slapdash retelling of the events at a breakneck speed, coupled with idealistic yearnings and a few writings serving as brief intermissions (these are posts to the Best Party's website, an interview with his wi [...]


    • A comedian and taxi-driver starts a new political party (the Best party) and ends up as Mayor of Reykjavik from 2010 to 2014, after Iceland's economic collapse, and still keeps his sense of humour (although he does write about how exhausting is the role of mayor). Full of observations and trueisms about people and democracy, this book is a great read.


    • This memoir by actor/comedian/oddball turned politician is disorganized and poorly written. The author discusses his foray into Icelandic politics and expresses his socialist/anarchist/atheist philosophies. Somewhat interesting local flavor and anecdotes but comes across as somewhat native and simplistic.


    • I found this memoir of how a comedian found himself leading a political party surprisingly moving. His attempts at transparency are commendable and his ethical viewpoint to keep the political process "clean" deserves more adoption.I recommend this to anyone who thinks they can't possibly make a difference. This guy found a way and shows that others can too.


    • Interesting book, a window into Gnarr's thinking and I now know way more about the Best Party and Icelandic politics than I ever expected to. But at the same time it was pretty one sided and somewhat fluffy (and he lost me at the end when he tried to magnanimously describe how 'country folk' were people too it seemed so patronizing!).An easy and interesting read!


    • I loved the Snap Judgement segment on Gnarr--a comedian who founded a political party as a joke and then went on to be elected mayor of Rejkjavik-- but found his book to be disjointed and a bit dry. I wondered if something was lost in translation.Note a bit of language.





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